Tal­iban tar­get for­eign­ers in Kabul guest­house

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL - KABUL—

Tal­iban sui­cide bombers and gun­men at­tacked a for­eign guest­house near par­lia­ment in the Afghan cap­i­tal Satur­day, the lat­est as­sault tar­get­ing for­eign­ers as NATO troops with­draw from the coun­try, wit­nesses and po­lice said. It wasn’t im­me­di­ately clear if there were ca­su­al­ties. Po­lice and in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers quickly sur­rounded the scene of the at­tack, a guest­house home to Euro­peans work­ing for the Afghan gov­ern­ment, wit­ness Samir Noorzai said.

“There were sui­cide bombers en­ter­ing the guest­house,” said Noorzai, who works near the guest­house. “There was some gun­fire, grenades and ex­plo­sions.”Po­lice spokesman Hash­mat Stanikzai con­firmed the on­go­ing at­tack on the guest­house, but de­clined to com­ment fur­ther.

The Tal­iban said in a state­ment that it had launched the sui­cide at­tack on “a se­cret mis­sion­ary cen­ter” in the city’s west. The mil­i­tants have waged a se­ries of large-scale at­tacks on Kabul in re­cent days, in­clud­ing an as­sault in the up­scale Wazir Ak­bar Khan dis­trict home to em­bassies and in­ter­na­tional agen­cies and the sui­cide bombing of a Bri­tish em­bassy ve­hi­cle. There have been about a dozen at­tacks in the past two weeks alone.

Vi­o­lence rages on out­side of Kabul as well as U.S. and NATO troops are set to of­fi­cially con­clude their com­bat role in the coun­try at the end of the year. On Satur­day, Tal­iban at­tacks killed at least 11 Afghan sol­diers in south­ern Hel­mand prov­ince, in­clud­ing one on a base once held by NATO forces, said Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provin­cial gov­er­nor.

The Tal­iban has been launch­ing as­saults since Thurs­day on the base, once known as Camp Bas­tion un­til the Bri­tish handed it over last month. Camp Bas­tion also once held Camp Leath­er­neck, a U.S. Marine base in the volatile south­ern prov­ince. Zwak said the Bas­tion at­tack killed at least six Afghan sol­diers and 20 Tal­iban fight­ers and wounded 10 Afghan sol­diers. The other at­tack, a sui­cide bombing tar­get­ing a mil­i­tary base in the prov­ince’s San­gin dis­trict, killed five sol­diers and wounded seven, he said.—AP

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